architect

January 8, 2019

Design Insights: Eastown Veterinary Clinic

Eastown Veterinary Clinic is located in the vibrant business district of Eastown in Grand Rapids. Eight years ago, the owner renovated a vacant former bank building on a tight but prominent site. The community welcomed the veterinarian, and the practice quickly flourished and outgrew the existing space.  In addition to needing more exam rooms and treatment space, the veterinarians felt that separating the dog and cat entrances would provide a more stress-free visit for their small clients. Yet, like many urban lots, the building was bordered by streets on three sides and a shared parking lot in the rear. Utility easements criss-crossed the site, and the trio of streets meant three “front yards”, which have greater setback requirements than a typical side yard. Working with experienced animal care facility designer and engineer Design Learned Inc., the Mathison | Mathison team maximized square footage by proposing a two-story addition meeting all required setbacks and easements.  MMA worked closely and efficiently with the City of Grand Rapids and civil engineers from Comprehensive Engineering  to help secure an amendment to an existing Special Use Permit for the new addition. The veterinarian had previously done a nice renovation to the aging bank building, removing […]
October 17, 2018

The Lake Residence: Design Insights

This new family home is located on a beautiful wooded lot that slopes down in two directions to wide, sunset views over the lake.

The family wanted a primary living space on the main or street level that still felt connected to the lake. While decks are a simple solution to adding main-level exterior space on lake-front homes, they often feel like an after-thought, creating a damp shadowy space below, and block daylight to the lower level. This large patio is over lower level living space, so it feels integral to the home and still allows for unhindered light and views at the lower level. The kitchen, sitting, and dining room open directly to the patio with a wide lift-slide door. A gracious stair leads straight to the lakefront below, creating an easy pathway for guests from the entry down and out to the lake.

October 17, 2018

Westshore Community College Master Planning in the News

Thanks to The Pioneer Group newspaper for including thorough coverage of the master planning meeting at Westshore Community College led by our own Tom Mathison.

"The West Shore Community College Board of Trustees and administration heard a report on Monday from Mathison Architect’s  Tom Mathison, who handles the college’s Facilities Master Plan which has to be filed with the State of Michigan giving them the opportunity to secure funding for building projects.

Mathison has handled this duty for the college for the past 18 years, since 2000 when he was with the TowerPinkster Firm. He continued to provide those services when he established his own firm and annually reviews WSCC’s facilities and infrastructure for the Facilities Master Plan.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work with the college on its facilities master plan,” said Mathison. “We have seen the college grow and mature in the time we have worked with you.”

September 2, 2018

Muskegon ISD: Design Insights

MMA was thrilled to work with the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) to renovate, refresh, and add new space to the existing building.

The goals for this renovation project at MAISD included:

  • Better use of ineffective space.
  • Additional conference space and a variety of conference space sizes.
  • Clearer circulation paths throughout the building.
  • Additional storage capacity.
  • Centralized resources.
  • Provision for future growth.
  • Infrastructure upgrades.


View the process and results

August 15, 2018

Airport Park & Pavilion Featured in “Airport World”

Thanks to "Airport World" for featuring our Gerald R Ford International Airport park & pavilion project! Gerald R Ford International Airport's renovated 'viewing park' where people can come and watch aircraft landing and taking off has quickly become one of the most popular attractions in the county.

Gerald R Ford International Airport's renovated 'viewing park' where people can come and watch aircraft landing and taking off has quickly become one of the most popular attractions in the county.

Indeed, the Mathison I Mathison Architects (MMA) designed park is already a magnet for aviation enthusiats, families and photographers either living in or visiting the Michigan city of Grand Rapids.

Prior to the renovation, there was only a parking lot, picnic tables and a grassy strip.


July 1, 2018

Gun Lake Residence: Design Insights

The Gun Lake house is situated on a narrow peninsula that offers extraordinary views of the lake in multiple directions.  The land is neatly populated with century-old homes that quietly take advantage of this uncommon setting.  A primary goal of our client was a desire to reconstitute the relationship of their house to its surroundings, while remaining sensitive to the communal context of the architecture.

The design seed of the new project was simply to rotate the footprint of the existing house 90 degrees, so that the broad side of the home would open to the broad view of the lake. The two principal roof forms of the new house reciprocate the setting -- the upper gabled form upholds the tradition of the neighborhood and governs its vernacular clarity, while the lower roof mimics the extension of the landscape and invites improvisational use.

At 2200 finished square feet, the conditioned envelope is compact. And like the exterior, the interior form responds directly to its use. The upper floor is a monastic repetition of sleeping cells and bathrooms with unique directional views, combined with a grand central stair and master bedroom at each corner that capture myriad views of water, over the trees, in all directions.